Hamilton’s new parking-meter kiosks have been installed in some areas of downtown but are a few weeks away from going into operation.
“You may have noticed downtown we’ve been installing the new parking kiosks,” City Manager Joshua Smith told Hamilton City Council last week.
Rich Engle, the city’s director of engineering, estimated the meters would be operational about 30 days from then. He said the city is performing computer work before that happens.
Eight kiosks, costing $85,000, have been installed on High Street, Dayton Street and Riverfront Plaza, which are the streets to the north and west of the new Marcum development of apartments, a bar, hair salon and apartments.
“This was at the request of some of the downtown restaurants, retailers, just concerned about people parking, not moving,” Smith told council. “We did not want to go back to the traditional meters.”
While some have complained that the city is using the meters to raise funds, Smith said that is not true.
“The goal is not to raise money,” he said. “The goal is simply to make sure traffic is moving every two hours from the parking spots so that people can get in and out of the restaurants, in and out of the retailers, up and down High Street, and also around the Marcum Park area.”
The city in June hired an employee to write citations for expired meters, and during his first six weeks, he had written 1,000-plus tickets.
Smith in August said if motorists don’t see an open parking space within about a block of a shop or restaurant, “they will literally drive by, and go somewhere else.”
When a vehicle operator pays at one of the kiosks, the machine prints a receipt that lists the date and when the paid time for the parking space expires. Drivers put the receipts behind their windshields so the parking enforcer can read them.
The city has said if the machines work well, Hamilton likely will buy more next year.
Parking spaces in the areas where kiosks have been placed now have two-hour limits, but many people who work nearby have kept their vehicles in spaces all day.
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